Merc columnist Mike Cassidy, in his series about ideas for improving the Merc, today answers several questions from readers, such as this one:

    Q: “The front pages of many of the issues [of the Mercury News] … appear to attempt to appeal to the nonprint readers — a lot of questionable fluff.”

    Answer: The Mercury News does run stories about sports, entertainment and social trends on the front page. Why? Because we try to appeal to a wide range of readers, and a significant number of them are interested in those topics.

    “What you focus on on the front page,” [Editor David] Butler says, “is largely what’s going on in this multicultural, fascinating Silicon Valley.” The paper, he says, works on “giving people information and taking people places that otherwise they might never get to.”

Cassidy also explains why the Sunday TV book costs extra and why business is often found in the local news section. And he says the Merc is adjusting its subscription prices, which apparently have varied due to promotions for new readers.

Bay Area Media News


  1. The merc still hasn't learned its lesson from the widespread criticism it got over the hot dog-eating graphic. This morning's edition compares the height of San Jose City Hall to that new skyscraper in Dubai — as if anybody was really wondering how they stacked up. Yet this silly graphic dominates the page.

  2. Over the years, the Merc's strength had been its tech coverage. But today it is regularly scooped by the WSJ, NTY and numerous bloggers and online sites. Instead of rising to the occasion, the Merc has cut back on the one thing that made it unique. I suspect management didn't realize what it had when it began making cuts, and took an across-the-board approach, chopping away at both the fat and the elements that made the paper worthwhile. Now the damage is done, and the Merc rarely has anything worth talking about.

  3. Oh, give me a break. This isn't something only the Merc is doing. It's being done with every MediaNewsGroup newspaper. So, Editor David Butler shouldn't claim this as just a Merc idea or, that it reflects the "multicultural, fascinating Silicon Valley."
    It's a stupid idea and compels me more to stop my subscription of the local newspaper.

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